Lake Erie Celebrates 13 Years Of Success On The Seas

Story Number: NNS060807-20Release Date: 8/7/2006 5:55:00 PM
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By Ensign Tommy Buck, USS Lake Erie Public Affairs

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (NNS) -- The guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Erie (CG 70) capped off a year of success and celebrated its 13th birthday, July 24.

The crew celebrated with a birthday cake and an awards ceremony at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard where the ship is undergoing scheduled maintenance in dry dock.

"It's great to be able to take a moment to celebrate what a successful year this has been for Lake Erie and her outstanding crew," said Capt. Randy Hendrickson, who took command of Lake Erie June 27. "In the past year, Lake Erie won its second consecutive Ney Award - the Navy's most prestigious food service award - was awarded the Battle 'E' for its combat readiness, and fired three Standard missiles, all of which engaged their targets."

Fifteen Sailors were presented awards during the ceremony.

"It was a real honor to receive this award on a ship so dedicated to teamwork and camaraderie," said Electrician's Mate 2nd Class Joshua Doyle, who was awarded a Navy Achievement Medal signed by Rear Adm. Alan Hicks, commander of Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD), for correcting a missile system casualty in support of the successful launch of a Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) in March.

Lake Erie, under the sponsorship of the late Margaret Meyer, wife of Retired Rear Adm. Wayne E. Meyer, was commissioned at Pearl Harbor July 24, 1993. It was the first U.S. Navy ship to be commissioned in Hawaii.

Since its commissioning, Lake Erie has participated in four successful deployments, including three to the Persian Gulf. In July 2000, the ship was named as the Chief of Naval Operations test platform for the SM-3 missile, a weapon developed to counter ballistic missile threats outside of Earth's atmosphere.

In the months prior to entering the shipyard, Lake Erie enjoyed a string of several significant accomplishments involving the Standard missile, including the first tracking and engagement of a test ballistic missile in the terminal phase.

Following the successful engagement in May, Lake Erie took tactical command of a five-ship Aegis BMD surface action group for testing and training.

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A standard missile - 2 (SM-2) is launched from the Pearl Harbor-based Aegis cruiser USS Lake Erie (CG 70) as part of a U.S. Navy missile defense demonstration.
060525-N-0000X-002 Pacific Ocean (May 25, 2006) - A standard missile - 2 (SM-2) is launched from the Pearl Harbor-based Aegis cruiser USS Lake Erie (CG 70) as part of a U.S. Navy missile defense demonstration. The demonstration, in cooperation with the Missile Defense Agency (MDA), was the first sea-based intercept of a ballistic missile in its terminal phase. A short-range target was launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Hawaii. Shortly thereafter, it was intercepted by the SM-2. Previous MDA / U.S. Navy ballistic missile tests have utilized the Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) to intercept threats in the midcourse phase of flight, outside the Earth's atmosphere. Those tests have resulted in six intercepts in seven attempts. While there is a limited emergency capability available against midcourse threats, there is no terminal phase capability other than the existing Patriot Advanced Capability (PAC-3). U.S. Navy photo (RELEASED)
May 26, 2006
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